Limerick 2-24 Tipperary 0-18
By Eoghan Cormican, Gaelic Grounds
Limerick fired an early warning shot that they are one of the leading contenders for All-Ireland U21 glory with this comprehensive 12-point Munster quarter-final dismissal of Tipperary.
The Premier County won the corresponding fixture this time last year, ending Limerick’s then bid for back-to-back Munster and All-Ireland titles, so there was an element of revenge being exacted last night.
With eight members of John Kiely’s senior squad present inside the whitewash for the Treaty County, seven of whom had seen action when the seniors fell to Clare in the Munster semi-final two weeks ago, Limerick’s hurling was so much more crisper than their opponents. The differing levels of pace and movement, too, was noticeable.
The winners had the backing of a slight breeze in the opening period but that was from the chief contributor in their 2-12 to 0-8 interval lead.
The home outfit were much the sharper, with the Limerick attack, in particular, causing endless problems for a Tipperary defence that was at sixes and sevens for the most part.
The platform for Limerick’s dominance arrived further back, with Kyle Hayes and Ronan Lynch excellent in the half-back line. The latter clipped two superb points, while Hayes peppered the attack with a plethora of defence-unlocking deliveries.
It was 11 minutes in before Tipperary were off the mark. And by that stage, Limerick had forged 1-4 clear. Tom Morrissey supplied the opening goal, the half-forward scooping the sliotar to the net after a fine catch by Peter Casey.
Barry Nash, was who denied moment before Morrissey’s goal, delivered their second green flag, rounding Emmet Moloney and firing to the net on 16 minutes. All but one of their starting six forward found the target in the opening half an hour.
Tipperary, on the other hand, were reliant on Mark Kehoe (0-3) and the deadball accuracy of Lyndon Fairbrother who also raised three white flags.
Tipperary clipped four of the first five points of the second-half to cut the deficit to two goals. No closer would they come, however. From there to the finish, they were outscored by 0-11 to 0-4.
Scorers for Limerick: A Gillane (0—9, 0-7 frees); T Morrissey (1-4); P Casey (0-3); B Nash (1-0); R Lynch, C Ryan, B Murphy (0-2 each); C Lynch, P Ahern (0-1 each).
Scorers for Tipperary: L Fairbrother (0-4 frees), G Browne (0-5 each); M Kehoe (0-3); C Darcy (0-2, 0-2 frees); B McCarthy, W Connors, T Nolan (0-1 each).
Limerick: E McNamara (Doon); S Finn (Bruff), D Fanning (Pallasgreen), D Joy (Kilmallock); R Lynch (Na Piarsaigh), K Hayes (Kildimo/Pallaskenry), J Adams (Ballybrown); R Hanley (Kilmallock), C Ryan (Pallasgreen); A Gillane (Patrickswell), C Lynch (Patrickswell), T Morrissey (Ahane); P Casey (Na Piarsaigh), B Nash (South Liberties), B Murphy (Doon).
Subs: C Boylan (Na Piarsaigh) for Hanley (40); T Grimes (Na Piarsaigh) for Adams (41); O’Reilly (Kilmallock) for Murphy (48); L Lyons (Monaleen) for Ryan (53); P Ahern (Killeedy) for Gillane (59)
Tipperary: B Hogan (Lorrha-Dorrha); P Maher (Kilsheelan-Kilcash), E Moloney (Drom & Inch), K Hassett (Drom & Inch); R Byrne (Portroe), B McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), E Heffernan (Clonoulty-Rossmore); B McCarthy (Thurles Sarsfields), W Connors (Kildangan); M Kehoe (Kilsheelan-Kilcash), A Coffey (Nenagh Éire Óg), G Browne (Knocknavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams); D Gleeson (Ballinahinch), L Fairbrother (JK Brackens), S Quirke (Moyle Rovers).
Subs: M Whelan (Carrick Davins) for Maher (blood, 37-39); R Teehan (Gortnahoe-Glengoole) for Gleeson (42); T Nolan (Drom & Inch) for Connors, C Darcy (Kilruane McDonaghs) for Fairbrother (both 47); P Ryan (Toomevara) for McCarthy (53); G O’Halloran (Carrick Swan) for Heffernan (59).
Referee: C Lyons (Cork).